President Yoweri Museveni started his day with a trip to his pond to fetch water for drip irrigation at his new farm in Kawumu, Luwero district, emphasizing households can avert drought and hunger if they looked after their gardens better and also engaged in cost effective enterprise selection.
The President dressed in a yellow shirt, khaki trousers and army green boots walked for about a kilometer to a pond at the new farm to draw the water before walking uphill again to his new one acre banana garden where he planted and used plastic water bottles to drip irrigate the new plants. The garden has 400 banana suckers that are drought and disease resistant. He later did the same for his coffee garden of 400 seedlings, planting and watering them before urging the technical staff to sensitize Ugandans on the process and importance of irrigation and mulching for better yields.
“You should develop a user friendly manual that households can use to water, mulch and look after their crops better. This will help mitigate the harsh climate,” he said.
The President said his tour was aimed at sensitizing the local communities on best practices to fight poverty. He also wanted to assess the impact of beneficiaries of seedlings under Operation Wealth Creation campaigns, the needs to the various communities and their challenges in order to find long-term solutions.
The President who is in Luwero on a campaign to eradicate household poverty in the rural areas is also doing door-to-door spot visits, talking to the communities about fighting poverty, challenges and what can be done to solve the issues.
After the hands on exercise at his farm, the President made an impromptu visit to various homes in Namayamba, Makulubita in Luwero district about 25km away. He visited the homes of Mzee John Ssalongo Nsubuga, Mzee Abbas Kasolo, Miiro Herbert and Samson Muwonge where he toured coffee plantations and some of the valleys that used to have swamps.
“Our aim is to ensure that every household has land and implements like seedlings for food and cash. After that we shall look at issues like access to water for production, including using solar pumps, community dams and fertilizer’s,” he said.
The President experienced first hand, the effects of the long drought. Museveni however noted that the swamps in the valleys that used to supply water to the community had dried up due to encroachment. He urged local leaders to sensitize the communities on the dangers of cultivating in swamps. He said government will invest in water dams that can provide water for production during dry spells.
The President is accompanied by Minister for Luwero Triangle Dennis Galabuzi Ssozi, Minister without portfolio Alhaji Abdul Nadduli and technical staff from Ministry of Agriculture and State House.